A Coming New Year

I’m doing the blog early because of a New Year’s Eve event going on at the church. I had a friend write something today about New Year’s Eve being a favorite holiday. I can kind of understand that. There is always a feeling of excitement. I’m used to sitting and watching the ball come down and waiting for each second to pass.

A lot of people will make New Year’s Resolutions. I gave up on that a long time ago. We never do them and we end up having guilty because we don’t keep them, even though we made the same resolutions several years ago and we didn’t keep them then. You think we’d learn our lesson.

The New Year though is a time for us to look back. What all happened? 2007 has been a big year for me. I hope it’s been one for you. I had a lot of good happen, but maybe some of you didn’t have it happen. Maybe for some this was a year of tragedy. Maybe you’re hoping that 2008 will be far better.

Maybe some of you are dreading the new year though. Maybe the bills are piling up and you’re wondering how you’ll make it. Maybe you have a terminal illness and you wonder if this will be your last year on Earth. Maybe you’re suffering from depression and you’re wondering if you have to put up with another year and can you really handle it?

At times like this, it’s good to realize that the God who was there in 2007 is still the same God of 2008. In fact, in classical theism, 2008 is already a done deal. God’s already seen it all and he’s still Lord of it all. That fact alone should be enough to eliminate any worries we might have about 2008. Unfortunately, I doubt it will be for you and I doubt it will be for me. The flesh still kicks in.

Now some of you might be saying “But I don’t know what will happen in 2008!” Here’s my question then. Do you know anyone who does? Last I checked, none of us knows the future. (Unless you’re Miss Cleo sitting in a jail cell….) All of us are facing it with the same condition. We don’t know it.

I instead intend to see the New Year as a year of adventure. In my personal life, there has been a lot happening lately that is exciting. I expect to see more of it happening. I returned from the Seminary bookstore today with three new books that I am eager to tear into.

When facing the afterlife, Socrates said that it made sense to view the unknown with fear. Why should it be scary because it is unknown? Children don’t do this. They see the unknown as something to explore. It’s when we start to think that the world is out to get us and that God cannot be trusted that we start to get afraid of the unknown.

2008 is coming. For us, it is unknown, but for God, it is known. Let’s trust him. Dear readers. Do be careful tonight of course though. We know that a lot of people are driving who shouldn’t be. Celebrate the New Year and gladly welcome it in, but be responsible about it as well. If you drive home late at night, be cautious.

Happy New Year! This will be the last blog of 2007 and I look forward to the first of 2008.

Mystery Novels

One gift my mother gave me for Christmas was a novel by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark called “Santa Cruise.” Now if you like mystery and/or suspense novels, you need to read Mary Higgins Clark. My favorite of hers would be a novel called “All Around The Town.” She is the queen of the genre.

However, readers of my blog know that there is always a point if I decide to bring up something like this. Why am I talking about a mystery novel? Now there are some exceptions, but in most of the mystery novels of Mary Higgins Clark, the characters are not detectives but simply ordinary people. The police do play a hand investigating, but usually, it’s ordinary people trying to make sense of an odd occurrence in their world.

If you like a good mystery though, you know that the better an author is, the more you can expect everything to weave together. This includes such things as actions side characters take that seem ordinary, moves that the villains make, and of course, the actions of the hero.

My sister gave me Season Five of Monk for Christmas which I shall use an example. Whenever I watch Monk, I know that I have to pay close attention. If a detail is brought up, it will be important and I will need to remember it for later. The writers of the show know how to bring them all together.

Mary Higgins Clark does the same. She ties in all of the events that happen to bring about a resolution. I have to read the novel and realize that while some tragedies will happen, ultimately, the bad guys are not going to get away with what they’re doing. In the end, good will prevail and what suffering is taking place is happening for a reason.

Nah. Couldn’t be any analogies there….

I then try to look at my life as flowing from the greatest author of all. Will I look at each person with greater detail now? Will I try to see how the actions I don’t understand are flowing into a great tapestry that I just don’t see? Is each person really a fascinating character in this drama, though I may see them as simply ordinary? Is each of us really paying a part in a grand story by the greatest author of all?

Seen from that perspective, life takes on new meaning. It is suddenly an adventure and worth paying attention to. So many times, we seem to go through our lives in a neutral gear where we’re just drifting. Instead, we need to be out there taking it by the horns. We as Christians especially as we are the heroes in this grand story. We are the ones fighting for the cause of the good.

I urge you today to see your lives as stories by the master author. Realize that like all good authors, some things are allowed we don’t like, but when you reach the conclusion of the story, it all makes sense and you realize “That’s why it happened. The author did know what he was doing.”

Following Your Heart

I saw a card today with one of those messages on it wanting the recipient to follow their heart. This seems to be a common saying and I’ve thought about this before. An advertisement for K.T. Tunstall’s song about the black horse and the cherry tree says that the message to be given is to listen to your heart.

I heard it and thought “Like that hasn’t been said a few thousand times before.” It makes as much sense to say the message of this song is “Be nice to one another.” Yeah. We’ve all been told this. It’s hardly new teaching. Hardly anyone will hear that and think “Wow! That never occurred to me before!”

The group D.H.T. has a song with the title of “Listen To Your Heart” and I’m quite sure that if I just typed for song lyrics or titles, that I’d find this same message showing up over and over. It’s almost akin to when Jiminy Cricket says to Pinnochio that he should let his conscience be his guide.

Now I think there’ such a thing as intuition. However, what I am concerned about is that we might give too much heed to inner feelings. For me and my friends, a common joke has been that if we had listened to our every inclination, we’d be fathers a few thousand times over by now and sitting in jail.

Our culture spends too much time listening to themselves. It is either giving our feelings divine authority or it is telling ourselves untruths about ourselves. I believe fully in telling yourself the truth. We as Christians should be people of truth after all and if something is true, we should tell ourselves that and live accordingly.

If Scripture is true, our hearts are wicked. Now I know Christ gave us a new heart, but there are many aspects we can’t trust. There are a number of topics I’ve switched my views on from time to time and each time I had strong conviction. There are many things we’ll say we do things we know are wrong and feel no chastisement whatsoever. How you feel during an action though is not the gauge of whether that action is right or wrong. How you feel when making a decision is not the gauge on whether it’s wise or not.

If you think something is intuition, check up on it first. Talk to people you trust and of course, spend time in the Scriptures. I have no problem with prayer either. I have a problem though with people praying and expecting God to decide for them. He gave you a mind. Use it.

My main concern is that we simply remember as Christians where our authority lies. When a term seems to become a slogan, maybe it’s high time we examined it.

The Spears And Sex

Let it be clear that I do not follow the celebrity news in Hollywood. I actually check the magazine covers not to see who’s doing what to who, (You could drop “What to” in Hollywood today and it might be more accurate.) but simply to see the moral depravity of our nation. When a new couple gets together, I watch to see how long this happy couple will last. The stories of pregnancy constantly tell me enough.

Now the latest one is the sister of Britney Spears, Jamie Lynn Spears. I’m one that sees this family on every week and wish that we could just have this whole thing go away. Why am I writing about it then? Because I see a contradictory message being given from the media and what they usually tell us about sex.

Doing a websearch for the magazine I’m thinking of was not successful when I typed in the headline I remembered seeing. However, it is amazing how much talk came up. The main news is that Jamie Lynn, the younger sister of Britney, is pregnant. At the time of my writing, this the girl is 16 and apparently has been offered $1 million for her pregnancy story.

My first thought is “What’s the story?” It’s not exactly a newsflash to us how pregnancy comes about. Oh wait. Maybe the story is we want to hear all the details. (I’m sure so many of you would love to have the fine details of your honeymoon put in magazines.) The idea that sex sells is true. Our nation feeds on it.

On a lighter note, I will say I am pleased with one thing. I am pleased that she has not decided to take the easy way out and have an abortion. I do look for the good where I see it and I believe we should be in prayer because there are several Jamie’s out there who need to have the support of the church. We can so often be so quick to condemn sex outside of marriage that we forget that the baby is still a person who needs to be loved and the lady who is pregnant is still someone who bears the image of God. She made a mistake. We all have. Let’s not make it worse.

However, one magazine did complain about Lynne Spears using her daughters as tools for financial income and how she let Jamie’s boyfriend sleep over. Now this is the part that I am interested in. I do not know if the allegations are true or not. Frankly, it doesn’t really matter to me. I am more concerned with how the media is presenting this.

What? Are they saying a mother shouldn’t let her daughter’s boyfriend sleep over? I thought this was the age of tolerance! I thought it was only fundamental Christians that had a problem with that! Why, we all know that this is just sex and kids are going to do it anyway so what is the big deal?

We do know this. Right? We see it on the media constantly. TV shows are filled with unmarried couples having sexual intercourse. From the movies, you’d think that this was something you were to do on the first date. It’s something casual after all. It’s no big a deal than playing a game of Super Mario Brothers together.

We all know that it isn’t. We all know that a daughter’s boyfriend should not be allowed to sleep over. While I am away from my parents now, I have some very strict rules on girls and my apartment and my roommate knows about them. When I go out on a date, I want him to grill me when I come back on how I acted. I don’t want to risk going too far because it gets harder and harder to stop.

Right now, I’m just wishing the media would get its message straight. It is not consistent of them to condemn Lynne Spears while at the same time making this be something normal. They can choose which ever way they want to go. Either this is something normal in which if the allegations are true, Lynne did nothing wrong. In fact, she furthered her daughter on the natural progression she should be going, or this is something morally wrong in which case there is responsibility.

However, let’s also be clear on responsibility. Supposing that they are true, that only means the door was open. There is only one person responsible for the decisions. It might have been made easier for sexual intercourse to take place, but the only people who are to blame with consensual sex, assuming it was, are the two people that were doing the act. Of course, this isn’t the case with rape where only the rapist is the guilty party, but it’s high time responsibility be taken.

Perchance, that is one reason Jamie is keeping the baby. I do not know. I do see that though as the responsible choice in response to getting pregnant. I wish more young women would take that route and I wish the church would be there to help them when they do.

Right now though, I want to see the media get their story straight on sexuality. Either what happens that we see broadcast constantly is perfectly normal and we should accept it, or else it is a violation of that which is sacred and we should condemn it. Once we decide, we should live accordingly.

All of us should!

Ignorance of History

I believe one of the great tragedies of our era is that we no longer know our history. A large part of this is our education system. We’re not taught enough. We’re taught dates at times and places and events, but are we really taught the reasoning behind them? It’s good to know when Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses to the Wittenburg door. It’s better to know why he did so.

One of the great benefits is that we can learn about the heroes of the past for our virtue today. Learning about what the great heroes of the past did can remind us of the possibilities that we have today. This is fitting especially in Christian circles where we have the lives of the saints to look up to.

We can also learn about the great errors of the past. Are there some things we should know not to do now from events like the Crusades and the Inquisition? (Although I don’t think these were the nightmares they’re made out to be. I’m not condoning all that happened in them, but I suspect some historical revisionism has taken place.)

This is along the lines of not reinventing the wheel. Learn from mistakes, preferably other people’s. If we know that something didn’t work for the Christians in the past and didn’t bring about Christlikeness in people, then we should know that that is something we need to avoid.

Of course, there is also the great wisdom of the past. Reading the philosophy of Plato can bring some great insight into how one views the world, and the philosophy is rooted in history. There are historical figures that are found in the dialogues. I’m not saying they are historical, but they do have mention of figures we know from other events  in history.

We can also gain much insight into the biblical text by knowing what was going on. If you know about Josephus, you will read certain passages in the Scriptures differently. If you know what happened with the Early Church Fathers, you will interpret the Scriptures in a different way.

Our era though is one that forgets history. We’re all about what is going on now, but we have no clue about what went on in the past. I remarked about this in an earlier blog where it seems people today have even lost sight of what really happened on 9/11. We mourn what happened at Virginia Tech for a week and then life goes on.

If we aren’t changing ourselves as a nation in response to evil, then we are merely leaving the door open for it to happen again.

We need to know our roots if we are to know who we are. I remember this with talking to a lady who was speaking about the movie 300. I never saw it, but she was talking about how it ended with them losing and I said “It’s not like they can change it. It is history after all.” I got the reply of “You mean that really happened?”

Yes Virginia. 300 men really did hold off 1,000,000. It’s a shame the only way to bring about interest in history is through a movie.

We as Christians should especially know history. Christianity is a historical faith. We are claiming that within the space-time continuum, God did enter. We are claiming that Christ did live and did die on a cross and did rise from the dead. If it’s not historical fact but rather just a nice story, then there’s no reason for this blog. I have far better things I can be doing.

But if it isn’t, and it is historical truth, then that gives me hope for the future rooted on what happened in the past. Because of what happened nearly 2,000 years ago, I can have hope.

My advice today? Read history. Not just biblical history. Read any history. Learn where you came from.

The Day After Christmas

Is it just me, or is the day after Christmas depressing?

You go into all the stores and it’s like they can’t wait to get rid of that Christmas music and some people are even pleased that it’s no longer being heard. Yep. Eleven months of the other stuff is fine, but don’t dare make us listen to music over and over that celebrates the time Christ came into the world.

Before Christmas, everyone is always wishing you a Merry Christmas. After that, it’s just another day. The main question that you’re asked will be if you had a Happy Holiday. I tend to think this is just being cordial. In all honesty, I think we’ve made courtesy rude today. People ask things not because they want to be nice I fear, but because it’s customary to do so. I’d rather hear a genuine thanks and please than one that is forced. I’d rather hear someone say “How are you?” who I know cares rather than someone who says it for the sake of saying it.

It also makes me wonder how much we really know about history. Unfortunately, America is often the nation where we know more about the last sixty minutes than the last sixty centuries. I’ve been shocked at how many people I meet that seem to not realize what happened on 9/11 for instance. Oh we remember that, but it’s like it doesn’t really matter. We want everything resolved now.

We’ve already moved on past time spent with our loved ones and the sharing of memories. We’ve forgotten those people that we left behind. Instead, it’s back to the races and sadly, it could be that we have left the Christ child behind as well. I’m sure many people attended church last Sunday, but will they again this Sunday, or did they do their yearly duty?

One would think if this was the most wonderful time of the year and it was meant to bring about such a change, that it would have some lasting effect. I remember driving down the road yesterday and seeing so many businesses closed for Christmas. Today, everything is back to normal again. Now I’m not against business of course, but it seems we might be in too much of a rush to get back to the same rat race. Perchance even businesses should reflect on the time?

I’m also not against enjoying gifts! I’ve certainly enjoyed some. Today, I put together the vacuum cleaner I got for instance. I also watched another episode of Monk tonight. I look forward to starting a new book that I got soon. However, have we taken the time to consider the friends and family that got us those gifts and that they looked into our souls to buy them hopefully?

One of the best gifts I got once was a crystal cross from a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile. It was a small thing and probably didn’t cost that much. Why was it such a great gift? Simple. I knew this person had looked at me and not having seen me in awhile and not sure what to get, had my faith pop into mind and decided to buy me a cross.

Have we reached the point where we have started moving so fast that we can’t even take time to celebrate that which is good? I am just as guilty! I feel often that I am running the rat race at work and the actual time I could spend enjoying my life I don’t do. Some people might wonder why I’m watching Smallville or Monk or playing Final Fantasy when there’s ministry to be done. Simple. We can’t be all work and no play. We’ll get burnout too quickly. When I work, I work hard. When I play, I play hard as well.

Today is December 26th. I wonder how much of December 25th will be in our minds when the 27th comes.

Thoughts on Christmas Day

I have returned safely from Christmas. I spent much time on the road, but it was quite safe. I was conveniently surprised as for a good part of my journey, there seemed to be little traffic. At our first Christmas stop, I was actually the first guest to show up. I hid my car somewhere to surprise my parents, especially my mother, when they walked in, and indeed, she was surprised.

Our second get-together seemed a bit empty to me honestly though. We’ve usually gathered around and had each person with about ten presents or so and we’d go in order. This year though, it was as if each person bought only one gift for one person. I broke the rule naturally though, though unknowingly, by buying a gift for my grandmother, aunt, and uncle.

That is something I have never understood. It seems the older folks, and I am the youngest, get so concerned about spending so much time and staying late. That was always part of the joy to me. Now I naturally stay up late, but just being up till the midnight hour and seeing all the laughter and jokes was something special. I can’t help but wonder why that time is shortened.

Spending the night again at my parents’ place was odd. It felt out of place. I even slept in the bedroom that used to be mine until I moved out, but I can’ t say it was very sound. The mind seemed to be in a thousand places and nowhere. Most of us I think know that sense of something just seeming off-kilter even if you can’t put your finger on it.

Of course, I did enjoy seeing my family again. Don’t get me wrong. I suppose as I think about it, it’s just the realization that I have indeed changed. I am no longer the kid that stays there. I am the man that has come  home for Christmas. It is as if a rite of passage has been crossed where the place that used to be home cannot be considered. As I told my mother when she called me on my way home, “I’m half an hour away from home.” In talking about my living where I’m at now I just told her that this is where I need to be, and she understood.

There were plenty of good times. I got many things to enjoy, but there is a great joy in seeing other people open the gifts you get them and seeing their delight. It was a bit odd though as my sister and I both got my mother the same thing. (Geez! She’d mentioned it to me though and said that that was what she wanted for Christmas!)

Yet Christmas seems to leave a bittersweet feeling. Even while family is around and gifts are being opened, something in the heart cries “Is this all there is?” It’s not about the gifts. While I did bring home many good things that I really need around here, there was still an emptiness.

Now this might sound odd, but I can’t say I think about Christ more around Christmas. I see other people do so apparently, but for me as one who studies this area, this is a lifelong thing. I am spending time thinking about the wonder of the incarnation when it’s the middle of Summer. While I do embrace that Jesus is the reason for the season, I would honestly say that even for me, that sometimes might seem to get lost.

But does it really? On the way to and from my parents’ place for instance, I am listening to apologetics CDs in my car. (Alright. On the way back, I couldn’t find a place to stop until I got home so when I ran out, I listened to the music CDs. My CD player is in my trunk so it’s kind of inconvenient.) Listening, it made me think about plans for the future and carrying forth the adventure of apologetics.

How did the day end? It ended like many Christmases have ended. I find Christmas starts off with a bang for me and then it just kind of slows down. However, the evening is spent in enjoyment. Last year, it was playing Final Fantasy XII which my sister had got me. This year, it was watching an episode of Season 5 of Monk and watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

What will happen? I’ll go to sleep soon, but I’ll be at home and maybe this is my Christmas gift and the best that I could have. That would be the realization that this is my home. I have my friend here, and that is the best I could have. Take back all that I got this year. As long as I have my friend here, I would be pleased. Friendship cannot be bought at a store.

It seems I am blessed in both ways. Tonight, I will rest realizing that I’m not the same person in many ways that started the apologetics endeavor years ago. My future is bright and I am the only person that is keeping myself from embracing that idea. I pray that in my times of sorrow, I will be released soon to see the light of day. When the morning comes, I will realize that 2 + 2 does indeed equal 4.

An odd way to write about Christmas, but would you have me be anything other than honest? From my blog it is my firm hope that you had a Merry Christmas. I think I will look back on this one as a great Christmas as well.

Christmas Eve

On this day before Christmas, I’d like us to consider what really happened. I’m heading out soon to see family, so this will be brief. Let’s put ourselves in the position of someone the night before the original Christmas.

The Messiah had not entered the world.

The sacrifices were still being offered to make sure we were forgiven.

God had been silent for 400 years.

The world was ruled by an oppressive empire.

The Jews were in political turmoil with various parties not knowing how to respond to Rome.

The hope of Israel was being awaited.

A virgin girl was wondering just what was going on with her being pregnant.

The one she was betrothed to was looking for a place to keep her safe as she was about to give birth.

Inns were filled with people simply trying to make it back home for the census. (The original Christmas traffic!)

An elderly lady was caring for a newborn son named John.

A priest had had a son in his old age making the people wonder what was happening.

A man named Simeon was waiting in a temple for the redemption of Israel he had been promised to see.

The enemy was preparing to rile up the force of Herod soon to deal with the Messiah.

Angels were on stand-by to announce the good news.

Shepherd were in the field expecting another day.

All of this changed though. Within 24 hours, God himself came into the world in a way no one expected.

Today, enjoy yourself, but remember what came next was the real gift.

Heading Home

Tomorrow early afternoon, I will be heading back to spend Christmas with the folks. Blog readers! You can rest assured! I do plan on writing a Christmas Eve blog before I head out. However, tonight, I’d like to write about exactly what it means to me to say that I’m heading back.

Now I do keep some secrecy on here about my personal information, but I consider myself as one who has come from a small town and my family is certainly not wealthy. However, as I look around me, I am amazed. I have a nice computer and nearby me is a huge game collection. When I walk in my bedroom, there are several bookcases filled with books. I come from a poor family, but I consider myself in material possessions wealthy.

I fear sounding like I’m bragging, but I do believe that I have been blessed with an intellect. I have been told by people that I have a gift of writing and that I am skilled at debates. I am the biggest doubter of this that there is, but if the public says so, then who am I to disagree?

It makes me marvel being here at the Seminary and being known to professors and our great president as well. Lord. Why me? I’m just a simple guy from a small town. I do not see anything special about me. Why is it that you have blessed me with so many things that I do not deserve? Yet here I am.

This is the first time I’ll be driving a long way for Christmas and I’ve already told my mother to remember that I have a steel rod on my spine and please don’t tackle me when you see me. It’s been nearly three months for her but she has held up well. She’s reached a point at least where she’s not calling me every day.

I look forward to our big Christmas Eve gathering and having all the family gather around and just wanting to know about my move. This is my extended family as well with my grandmother, my aunt, my uncle, and my cousins in addition to my folks, my sister, and her brother-in-law.

We also go to a family that has been kind of like my mother’s adopted family for a long time. I suspect that I will receive a lot of questions as well. I also know though that someone last year received a copy of the Da Vinci Code so maybe I could get the gift of an interesting discussion.

I miss leaving my roommate behind, but I’m sure he’ll do fine without me. I realize when I write that that God has blessed me with so many friends. People seem to like me for some odd reason and it just blows my mind. Again, I really don’t see it. I suppose this is as good a time as any to mention this.

Many of you have been with me even before I started this blog. Some of you read it faithfully and even have it linked from your own websites and blogs. Then there are people like my college president and my old church back home. There’s of course, my current church.

So many of you are so kind to me and if I really took the time to take in all that you said, I’d really be a whole lot better, though I’d probably break down emotionally as I don’t think I deserve the kindness you have heaped on me. However, I greatly appreciate it. Sometimes, little things you do and say help keep me going.

I’ll publicly say to my roommate thank you for helping me out with so much. It’s really been an eye-opening experience to live with someone else like this other than family and it seems many times that adventure is just right around our door. Things have been odd at times, but in the end, I know you’ve always been there and I’m a better person today because you’re in my life. I pray for your blessing every night. You deserve it.

I fear if I keep going, I will never stop writing like this. It might not be a bad thing, but hey, I’ve got plans for the evening. I pray as I rest tonight that I’ll keep in mind everything. As I think about how I started with my material wealth and ended with talking about my friends, I have no doubt which is greater. My friends mean far more to me than anything else in this world. Of course, Christ is most important to me, but I am pleased he blessed me with so many people. So many times when you’re so kind I want to ask “Why?” but I think I know what you’d say. I’d probably deny it, but I know what you’d say.

Merry Christmas everyone. See you in the morning!

Cosmic Christmas

Before too long, many families will be gathered together and opening their Bibles and reading the Christmas story. We will hear of the dream of Joseph in response to Mary’s pregnancy in Matthew 1 and how the child will be called Immanuel. We will hear about the announcement to Mary in Luke 1. We will hear about the magi in Matthew 2 and the shepherds in Luke 2.

I wonder how many people will read the other Christmas story found in Revelation 12.

Yeah! That’s a Christmas account! It’s a bit abbreviated, but it’s an illustration of what was going on. The child is being born and Satan is already there trying to destroy him to prevent the plan of salvation from taking place. Fortunately, the child is protected and snatched up to Heaven. (John goes from birth to ascension.)

We see so much of the good side of what happened, but we need to realize that cosmic warfare was taking place. If this was a chess game, then this is the point where God is preparing to make a checkmate move. We can be sure that Satan knew it was coming and was ready to respond.

So what happens in the story? We see that Herod orders all the children in Bethlehem under two years old to be slain. Joseph and Mary have to flee in order to keep Jesus alive. By the way, if you wonder why no one else records this, this is sadly mild for Herod. He was prone to murdering rampages and the town was a small town, there would probably be a dozen or so children murdered. In the time of Herod, it was hardly breaking news.

Why’d Herod do it? He feared a new king coming and taking his place. Thus, while we look and see Christmas as a wonderful time of year, and don’t get me wrong for what happened was wonderful, it was hardly a pleasant memory for many of the people involved. The people of Bethlehem would probably not look back with fondness.

This needs to be remembered though. Christmas is a fun holiday, but it is also a serious holiday. It is the time that we remember that God did enter this world. The heavenly did come and intersect with the earthly. God made himself known in a way that he had never done before.

That doesn’t happen peacefully. In fact, when we are servants of God today, we can expect to have clashes as well. What happened at the start was the beginning of the end. If this move worked, which God knew it would as I am no open theist, then it would spell the end for Satan and his plans.

Indeed, it was the end. The dragon was cast down and he went to make war on those who obey God’s commandments, which would be us.  Today, we can expect that. If there were no Christmas, there would be no Christians. We would not be in the war most likely. We are doing what we do though because of what God did 2,000 years ago.

This Christmas, enjoy the celebration, but remember that this is cosmic warfare also. It’s also going on around you right now. (It could help us to recover a biblical idea of angels) Celebrate, but remember what all happened. It wasn’t just fun and games.